Monday, April 30, 2012

The science of walking, the science of travel?

Lucius Burckhardt, a Swiss sociologist and architect invented strollology and promenadology. Here is a small excerpt about 'discovery' and a methodology for wandering...maybe useful for us? The South Sea Pavilion, one of the earliest purpose-built museums in Germany, houses the South Sea collection of Reinhold and Georg Forster,which they had donated to the Wörlitz Prince on his visit to England. In 1772, Georg Forster, just 18 years old at the time of departure, took part, together with his father, in James Cook’s second voyage around the world. He published his experiences in a book entitled “Dr Johann Reinhold Forster’s und seines Sohnes Georg Forster’s Reise um die Welt auf Kosten der Grossbritannischen Regierung, zu Erweiterung der Naturkenntniß unternommen und während den Jahren 1772–1775 in dem vom Capitain J. Cook commandirten Schiffe The Resolution ausgeführt.” The voyage brings the world to the home. In exhibitable format, into the world of goods and economic cycles, into imagination, into the landscape of gardens and parks. What to the early 19th century was the art of strolling became the science of strolling in the late 20th century. The Swiss architectural sociologist and theorist Lucius Burckhardt developed, together with his students at Kassel Comprehensive University, strollology or the science of strolling. Its central issues are perception and image composition, what we do at home after the stroll, in the mental processing of what we have seen. An art action entitled “Voyage to Tahiti” sent students to a former military area where a new housing settlement had been developed just outside a nature reserve. With this action, Burckhardt took up the tradition of the discoverers. Students had pre-adjusted their gaze in a specific way, treating the area like an undiscovered island and acting as if they were James Cook or Georg Forster.

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